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Things You Need to Know About the Practical Driving Test

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gices anonymous_2

The practical driving test lasts for about 40 minutes. Before you even start the driving test, your examiner will ask you to read a car number plate from about 15 metres to make sure your eyesight meets the driving standards. If you have read it incorrectly, you will instantly fail the driving test as you will be considered a danger to other road users because you cannot see properly. However if you have managed the first question, then your driving examiner will ask you two more questions but this time it will be about your own vehicle - this is known as the show-me-tell-me questions. Each question which is wrongly answered will be marked down as a minor driving fault.

Things you can do to ensure a first time pass!

The best way to pass your driving test first time round is by understanding the Highway Code thoroughly and by having a lot of practice driving in different situations - in traffic, in the rain or snow, on dual carriageways, narrow roads, driving at night etc. If a friend or family is teaching you, it is recommended that you take at least a 10 hour course with an approved driving instructor to make sure you are driving upto the standards expected by the driving examiners. This is meant to be just a brush-up for you but is necessary because you might have picked up bad habits from your friend or family.

If you know you've made an error during the driving test, you should not panic or get nervous because you are allowed upto 15 minor driving faults and should therefore concentrate your efforts on your driving to avoid making even more mistakes. Having a mock driving test before you actually attempt the real driving test is a good way to see how confident you are about driving and will also help you to assess your weaknesses and strengths.

Sitting in the car with the driving examiner

You will have to listen carefully to the directions given by your driving examiner. The latter will ask you to turn left/right or stop etc and you will have to follow the instructions as they are said. If you are not sure what to do at any point, you can always ask the driving examiner to repeat the instructions or explain clearly what you need to do. Remember that it is better to ask and know what you are doing during the test than doing something wrong because you did not fully understand what you have been told to do otherwise else you might regret it later on.

During the driving test, your examiner will also ask you to perform a few manoeuvres (usually it's only 2 of them). It can be anything from reverse parking, bay parking, turn in the road, left/right reverse or emergency stop. You should take your time to do the manoeuvre and apply the techniques you've been taught by your driving instructor and pay extra attention to your surroundings to make sure it is safe at all times when you are performing the manoeuvres.

There's also an independent driving part to the test now which seeks to assess your capability to make decisions by yourself while driving safely. This lasts for around 10 minutes and encourages drivers not to memorise routes but to rather develop an ability to find their way around when setting on a journey as opposed to relying on satellite navigation to guide them.

How much does the practical test cost?

If you are taking your practical driving test on weekdays (Monday - Friday), the cost is £62.

If you are taking your driving test during weekends, then you will have to pay £75.

gices Published 24 Oct 2008
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

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2899 members . 1218 topics . 2221 posts
ria87 14 Oct 2019

How long to get money back in your account after cancelling driving test?

hi i cancelled my driving test because i couldn't make it. i was just wondering does anyone know how long it takes for the money to be refunded back into my account?

[Migrated from previous topic 11585 dated 01 Nov 2010]

anonymous_2 14 Oct 2019

The DVLA take around 14 days to refund the money.

[Migrated from previous post 2013 dated 02 Aug 2013]

beautybel 11 Oct 2019

When does driving licence start, the day you pass the test or when you receive the pink card?

I was wondering, at first I know I need to have my full driving license over 3 years on which day does it start? From the day you pass it or the day you received the pink card? Can I start supervising someone few days before the full license reach its 3 years of date (lets assume I passed the test on the 26/01/08, can I start supervising from the beginning of the month like on the 1/01/11). Please let me know. Thanks

[Migrated from previous topic 11744 dated 20 Dec 2010]

gices 11 Oct 2019

You will need to go by the date on the pink card, that's when the DVLA knows that you are a full licence holder. That's why after you finish your driving test, you still need to have the driving instructor with you in the car when driving back even if you have passed the driving test that day.

[Migrated from previous post 1450 dated 21 Dec 2010]

LeeCarrington 03 Aug 2010

Is that price £56.50 for pontifract test center too?